Request Monday

I realize this story's going in a little different direction than I'd first intended. However I am going to keep the hoodoo to a minimum. Kindof liking how this is working where a few of my other stories are concerned. Plus the person that made the request seems to like what I've made.

[7]


How to describe when gods meet? Each appeared unassuming and everyday. Yet at the same time each had gathered the very essince of their Office. Spider-Woman was the lone exception to this and chose instead to wholly clothe herself in the guise of a grey haired woman clothed in hand man garments.

Zeus was much what the media of the past two thousand years had portrayed him; broad shouldered, wild dirty blonde hair, bronze complection. In short he was a God's God. Yet at the same time the greek Sky-God, Conquerer of Titans, and holder of a number of other well earned titles carried himself as if he were expecting the full wieght of the world to come crashing on his head at any moment.

Each brought someonewith them. Zeus a light skinned dark haired woman, and Spider-Woman brought a woman that looked even older than the goddess herself. As if the two groups rehearsed the meeting beforehand, and they may well have, they each flanked Anubis and waited.

"Set is late." Spider-Woman observed.

Zeus smoothed the wrinkleso ut of his suit and grumbled, "Set is always late." His voice was sour. "Except when he's early, or never bothers showing at all. You should've taken my advice. Nothing good comes from dealing with family."

Anubis grinned slightly, "Not all of us had a cannibal as a father, and Set has his uses."

Anger flared in Zeus's eyes as sparks danced through his hair. "Really? Like the time he-" He stopped mid-sentance when the woman that came with him touched the god's shoulder.

"Anger resolves nothing Honored Father." Meek voice to match the girl's posture but Zeus seemed to relax just the same. "Our lot is cast."

The grandmotherly woman of the group was careful to keep her voice neutral. "Wise words for one of Zeus's play-pretties." The younger woman glowered. "Oh get over it. You knew what he'd be like going in on this business." She turned to Ricky. "And what of you? Don't seem the sort to follow the Old Dog this far down the rabbit hole."

Ricky fidgeted, then stilled himself as he didn't wantto make a poor impression. "I really don't know what's going on. It might make me seem young and stupid, especially since you both look like you're comfortable with wherever here is, but I got shoved in head first. So feel free to lay off the insults."

Spider woman looked from her own assistant to Ricky and smiled. "Such fire. Have a care young man lest you burn yourself and everyone around you." Her eyes flicked to Anubis before she added, with no small amount of amusement, "You called for us. Since Set has chosen to be late I suggest we move to business."

"Agreed." Anubis pulled the thumbdrive Ricky gave him from his pocket and showed it to the assembled group. "A copy of Thoth's analysis of Nemesis's prison."

A moment passed. Then two. "Well?" Zeus grumped, "You wouldn't have called us if it was good news, so out with it."

"Fifty years, at most. It could be as little as a dozen years if somebody manages to get past the physical defenses and starts chipping from this side." Anubis spread his hands wide. "Then it's all over. It's free and humanity becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet while Osirus would have us sit on our hands."

Ricky tried juggling what he and Alice had pieced together with the tone the conversation was taking. The documents they had tried making sense of were cut and dry and holding very little context for them to put it in. Much was there about directed entrophy, wards, and a few hints pointing to the whole thing collapsing in on itself but here was the context that information went with.

"New guy here." Ricky raised his hand. "Why can't you," He pointed to Zeus, "pull a giant bug zapper off on whatever's on the other side?"

Zeus frowned and faint echoes of thunder could be heard when he spoke. "Because, boy, it took all of our combined power to just seal it. Against any one of us, or even all of us, it has the advantage."

"Nemesis is a creature of decay and unmaking." Spider-woman's voice held a lecturing tone; the same sort as an aging mother explaining a family embarassment. "It is Hunger and Void manifest."

Zeus's assistaint chose then to speak. "There are many rules to direct intervention, and by the time tradition allows our patrons to act with free riegn it will already be too late."

"Ah." Ricky stepped back and thought this over. "Soooo...." He looked about. "Why are we here?"

"They're here to convince me to break the rules for them." Short stocky man hanging from a lamp pole nearby. When he landed he half-ran half-tumbled his way to the group. "Isn't that right shaggy?" Anubis growled. "Your hands are tied and Horus's little pretty is getting tired of everyone trying to lead her around by the nose."

The newcommer looked to Ricky and bowed. "There. it's all summed up for Duncy McCluless M.E. over there. You three know my price. Same as it was last time you asked. Yes or not."

Spider-Woman's eyes narrowed. "Absolutely not!"

"What makes you think we'll consent to such a lopsided deal?" Anubis's growl grew louder.

Zeus's right hand shot forward just before a bolt of lightning hit Set square in the chest, which seemed to do little more than singe the fabric of his bright red clown suit.

"Oh come on. That was uncalled for." Set tried wiping the scorch mark away. "This was an authentic Bozo."

"You have our answer. Your terms, as they stand, are not accepted." Sparks danced in the palm of Zeus's right hand.
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